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Contests and Special Projects Guidelines

We welcome and encourage sponsors of student contests and special projects related to our curriculum. These connections provide a cooperative and creative bridge between the classroom and the professional world.

Inquiries may be addressed to:

Contests and Special Projects
c/o Vice President for Academic Affairs
Room C-913
Fashion Institute of Technology
227 W.†27th
New York, NY 10001-5992†

Potential sponsors are asked to submit a clearly-articulated proposal addressing items listed in the section immediately following. When there is agreement to participate in a contest or special project, and when the objectives and requirements are mutually satisfactory, FIT will prepare an Agreement for signature.

Objectives of a Contest or Special Project

We seek contests or special projects that complement the curriculum. FIT encourages relationships that create meaningful educational experiences for students and provide funds for students to use for educational and professional advancement.

We approve contests or special projects when participation provides opportunities for students to apply their studies and creativity to a design, business or marketing challenge, to gain exposure to the professional world, and to network and receive industry recognition for their work.

The College uses the following factors when considering our studentsí participation in a contest or special project:

Educational value and relationship to FITís mission;

Appropriateness of the theme to our curriculum;

Student workload and adequacy of time for students to prepare their submissions;

Sponsorís commitment to interact with participants; and

Faculty availability to mentor students.†

Benefits for the Students: These may include monetary awards; travel; display, publication, or production of their work; employment; or some combination thereof.

Benefits for the College and Participating Departments: Increased recognition for educational excellence and demonstration of support from the industries we serve.

Benefits for the Sponsor: Exposure to forward-looking creative designs, plans, applications or business approaches and public recognition of the sponsorís philanthropic activities and support of higher education.

While we have confidence in the abilities of our students, FIT does not guarantee the caliber or reliability of student work for professional purposes.

Contest or Special Project Requirements

We will determine with the sponsor whether the contest or special project will be college-wide or open only to those enrolled in a specific course or major.

In order to prepare an Agreement for the parties to sign, the following information is needed:

  1. Description of the contest or special project theme. Include the objectives of the sponsor and a complete description of the items to be submitted for judging.
  2. Description of the criteria by which submissions will be judged.
  3. Composition of the judging panel. No member of the judging panel may be a member of the faculty of the department participating in the contest.
  4. Contact information for the sponsorís liaison with the College.
  5. Contact information for the sponsorís in-house public relations and marketing representative or outside public relations and marketing consultant, or both.
  6. Ways in which the sponsor plans to interact with the students during the process.
  7. Description of the sponsorís financial support for the contest or special project, which may include:
  • a. awards to winning students; Awards vary depending on the complexity of the contest or special project, the sponsorís stature in the industry and whether the sponsor requests that we deviate from our policy concerning student ownership of work, described below. The minimums for first, second and third place awards are $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. Awards are to be sent directly from the sponsor to the winners, who are responsible for the payment of applicable taxes, if any. FIT also encourages sponsors to make a charitable contribution to the College through The Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries.
  • b. materials or fabrics for the use of students to prepare their designs or presentations;
  • c. stipend for the faculty advisor;
  • d. optional costs associated with the presentation of awards or reception if the event is to be held at FIT; and
  • e. related shipping or travel expenses, if any.

††††8.† Timetable for contest or project.†
††††††††††††Our interest is to provide adequate time to develop and sign the Agreement, to announce the event and conduct initial meetings with students, and to allow sufficient time for them to develop their concepts and prepare their submissions.†
††††††††††††To ensure and maximize student participation and success, the timetable should thus take into account FITís academic calendar. Fall semester begins in late August and ends in mid-December. Spring semester begins in late January and ends in mid-May.†
††††††††††††Note: If the contest or special project involves students from the Fashion Design department, its two Associate Degree exhibitions take place in late November and late April. Its Bachelor of Fine Arts fashion show takes place in early May. Contest deadlines for that department should not conflict with those times.

Property Rights

It is FITís policy that students maintain ownership of their work prepared in connection with a contest or special project. Any change to our policy must have our written agreement. Our School of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Colleges of Art and Design, and the College subscribes to the NASAD guidelines statement on competitions, including the following:

The competition must not exploit the participant. Work submitted, including reproduction rights, must remain the property of the participant unless purchased at professional rates independently of prizes and awards. An exception to this may be made when prizes, in amounts equaling or exceeding professional rates, are stipulated as purchase prizes. The sponsoring organization must be responsible for the security of all work accepted by it under the conditions of the competition, and for its safe return either (1) at the completion of jury action or (2) at the end of a period not to exceed one year if specified for purposes of exhibition or display without charge to the public. Ė from NASAD Guidelines Statement on Competitions, section B.

Public Relations

It is the responsibility of FIT's Office of Communications and External Relations to direct an institutional marketing and communications program that is consistent with the overall objectives of the College in order to enhance image and build the FIT brand. Therefore, all advertising and communications plans that relate to the contest or special project must be coordinated in a timely manner with FITís Office of Communications and External Relations for approval prior to execution. Media outreach also must be conducted in partnership with the Office of Communications and External Relations.

A Final Note:

Contests open to students from many colleges usually do not require an agreement with FIT. We refer to such situations as ďbulletin boardĒ contests.

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